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Published March 13 2012

Perham slips past Pelican Rapids in section boys basketball semifinals

MOORHEAD – Make your free throws.

The Perham basketball team expects to hear that message a lot this week after edging rival Pelican Rapids 57-54 on Tuesday in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 South subsection final at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse at Minnesota State Moorhead. Perham faces Bagley in the section final on Friday in Bemidji.

“When I get to practice tomorrow,” said Perham point guard Jordan Bruhn, who went 7 of 14 from the free-throw line, “I am going to shoot 100 free throws.”

Perham (26-2) missed 13 free throws in the second half with Bruhn missing seven of them. Bruhn said afterwards making them could have made it a larger win instead of a nervous finish. He has a point given the Yellowjackets went 13-for-27 from the free-throw line, yet shot 50 percent from the field.

Perham’s Jordan Anderson, who scored a game-high 20 points, hit the first of two free throws with 9.2 seconds left for a 57-54 lead.

Pelican Rapids (25-4) stormed downcourt, setting up a 3-pointer for sharpshooter Casey Bruggeman, whose attempt went off the front of the rim to end the game.

“That was a missed assignment and it was probably because of me,” Bruhn said. “When Casey put that shot up, I kept saying, ‘Please God let him miss it.’”

Bruggeman’s missed shot sent Perham, the defending state champs, into a frenzy, with players and coaches storming the gym floor.

Pelican Rapids’ strategy with four minutes left was to foul Bruhn in the hope he missed, giving the ball to sophomore point guard Ryan Bruggeman for a lay-up.

The plan worked, with miss free throws leading to Pelican Rapids getting within three at one point.

But when it mattered, Bruhn and Anderson made their free throws down the stretch.

“It’s weird because in practice we’re like 90 percent as a team,” said center Mark Schumacher about his team’s free-throw plight. “But in a game, it just goes out the window.”

Anderson said Perham struggled with free throws last postseason, but turned it around en route to winning state.

He realizes a serious overhaul will be needed if the Yellowjackets want to return to Minneapolis.

Anderson was also reflective about Perham’s rivalry with Pelican Rapids.

Seniors from both teams have been playing against each other since they were 7 years old, helping this game progress to one of the area’s better rivalries over recent years.

“It felt like we’d win one, they’d win one, we’d win one, they’d win one,” Anderson said. “So it was nice to get one knowing this is our last time playing each other.”

PERHAM: Bruhn 4-7 7-14 15 Cresap 7-10 2-3 17 Wiskow 0-3 1-2 1 Anderson 6-13 3-8 20 Schumacher 2-6 0-0 4 Glines 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20-40 13-27 57

PELICAN RAPIDS: R. Bruggeman 7-11 4-6 18 C. Bruggeman 4-13 6-6 15 Forsgren 3-5 1-1 9 Huseby 3-6 0-0 6 Halbakken 3-11 0-0 6 Budke 0-1 0-0 0 Schell 0-1 0-0 0 TOTALS: 19-49 7-7 54


Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found at slightlychilled.areavoices.com